The Real Housewives of Orange County alum Braunwyn Windham-Burke spoke out about her former costar Shannon Beador’s recent DUI arrest.
“I think Shannon has been going through a hard year. Obviously, what happened is not OK. You should never drink and drive,” Windham-Burke, 45, exclusively told Us Weekly in a statement on Monday, September 18. “It was a very unfortunate night for her, but fortunately no one was hurt.”
Windham-Burke, who has been candid about her own sobriety, hopes that this will be an “eye-opening moment” for Beador, 59, as well as a “catalyst for change.”
“I know Shannon has a big heart and hope this can become her story where this is a moment when everything changed for the better,” she added.
Windham-Burke noted that she and Beador were “great drinking buddies” while they were on RHOC. In season 15, Windham-Burke realized she had a problem and needed to seek help.
“When I was active in my drinking I did things I am not proud of. But I am not the person I am while I was drinking,” Windham-Burke said to Us on Monday. “The moment I decided to put the bottle down, that is the moment I became the person I was meant to be. People who are drinking will look for any excuse as to why their drinking is not an issue.”
On Saturday, September 16, Beador allegedly drove onto a residential property in Newport Beach, California, where she clipped the house while parking her car, per TMZ. According to the outlet, the reality star was charged with two misdemeanors, including a DUI. Beador’s car was also seized, and she was released without bond.
Following the accident, Beador’s attorney issued a statement saying that his client feels guilty about the matter.
“I spent quite a bit of time with Shannon yesterday. She is extremely apologetic and remorseful. We will be awaiting the official information on this case as it becomes available, and Shannon is prepared to accept full responsibility for her actions,” Michael Fell told TMZ on Monday.
Later that day, friend Jeff Lewis shared that Beador was “entering counseling” and “accepting full accountability.”
“I don’t think Shannon is an alcoholic,” Lewis, 53, said on the Monday episode of his Sirius XM show Jeff Lewis Live. “I think as her close friend, I think she’s going through a lot of personal struggles right now, and I think that she probably has been leaning on alcohol, but I don’t believe she’s an alcoholic.”
Three days before the incident, Beador defended her drinking in a joint interview with Vicki Gunvalson. “Let’s look at other people on the show this season who’ve been drinking a lot,” Beador exclusively told Us on Wednesday, September 13.
“The show, I hate to say it, does promote having fun and some alcohol,” Gunvalson, 61, chimed in. “And we can control what we put in our body. … It’s just when you film seven hours in a day and one [hour] of it or a half hour of it is whooping it up on a high level, that’s what they’re going to show because that’s fun.”